Mutual Action Plan Template & Mutual Action Plan Best Practices
MAP Best Practices
We’ve already discussed the multiple benefits to why MAPs are valuable. This post gets down to brass tacks asking “What Mutual Action Plan Best Practices can I add to my own MAP templates to make them more valuable to buyers, sellers and sales management.”
1. The best, first and most important switch is also the easiest:
Include a 30-40 word summary of your Value Prop at the top of your MAP. You want your Buyers to share the MAP with their peers and superiors on the buyer committee, so give those people some context. Ideally your value prop is tied to an identified priority, so when the boss is looking at it, she’s not thinking “what is this new vendor spend?” , she’s thinking “yes, I do want that priority solved, make it happen! “
Include any customer events on your timeline. These external dates stop your deal slipping.
Too many MAPs have “Signed Contract” as the final step. This tells the buyer that you’re only concerned with getting paid instead of solving their problem. Make sure your last milestone is the customer getting value. Call this Milestone “Optimization”. It’s a review of the implementation that’s making sure they got everything Sales promised them PLUS an review of low-hanging fruit that could be achieved (ie: your upsell / cross sell based on proven results to date)
2. Break up your process into 7-9 milestones and make the descriptions more customer-centric
Senior decision makers are looking at your MAP for 30 seconds. They can’t be expected to ingest 40 equally hierarchical steps. At best they’ll get lost in the weeds, and worst, they’ll feel overwhelmed.
At the same time, you don’t want to dumb down your process. The solution is to include sub-steps under your milestones. Ideally they can hide and expand, so you don’t even see them unless you drill in. This allows a senior decision maker to say the words you want to hear “Sounds like you’ve got this under control Bill, carry on with my blessing”
Sales is a series of small “yes’s”. Try to present each milestones as having value by describing what they get out of investing time & resources on this specific milestone. Instead of a “Feature Review for Operations Team” offer a review of “2020 Software Trends that are impacting their industry”.
Don’t be afraid to include your own activities. It’s good to show that you’re doing work: human nature wants to honor work done on our behalf, so they’re less likely to ghost you, you demonstrate credibility by involving other team members and by listing out the outcomes you ensure your reps don’t drop the ball.
3. Identify People & Roles in each Milestone
You know what roles should be involved in each milestone. Include the roles in your descriptions, then ask them to name the people who fit the role, and invite them to the MAP. Include a summary view of all the people involved on both sides. The Buyers will appreciate seeing who’s on their Selling team, and Sellers can use the Buyer team to make peer-to-peer contacts.
Adding a Seller VP to a team generates immense credibility: you’re essentially saying “everything I’ve shared here is the same thing I’d say in front of my boss”. The two-way visibility helps when if you need your exec to call their exec to unstick something,
Introduce your Customer Success or Account Manager in an early Milestone. This builds credibility early on that you have such a great team at their service and makes it easier for the seller to bow out gracefully after contract.
Even easier when it’s all templated and runs in the cloud so you can measure buyer engagement too.
Teams that use DealPoint close more deals, have a super accurate forecast and enjoy all the benefits of mutual trust & transparency between buying team and selling team.
So what do you want your next quarter to look like? Let’s talk.
Download your copy of our Mutual Action Plan template